Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Fiction



Fiction is the form of any work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and theoretical—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical, cinematic, or musical work. Fiction contrasts with non-fiction, which deals exclusively with factual  events, descriptions, observations, etc.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Postcard

A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope.

In some places, it is possible to send them for a lower fee than for a letter. Stamp collectors distinguish between postcards (which require a stamp) and postal cards (which have the postage pre-printed on them). While a postcard is usually printed by a private company, individual or organization, a postal card is issued by the relevant postal authority. The United States Postal Service defines a postcard as: rectangular, at least 31⁄2 inches (88.9 mm) high × 5 inches (127 mm) long × 0.007 inches (0.178 mm) thick and no more than 41⁄4 inches (108 mm) high × 6 inches (152.4 mm) long × 0.016 inches (0.406 mm) thick. However, some postcards have deviated from this (for example, shaped postcards).

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Parisian Food


Parisian Food

After seeing all the amazing tourist sites in Paris, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and others, my wife, Suzanne, and I sought out some lesser known sites. We passed the street where the famous sculptor Rodin was born and came to an ancient-looking church called Saint-Medard. Even from a distance I was mesmerized when I saw the gray stone church with shrubberies framing the entrance and a lone tree rising above it. It wasn’t as impressive as the major tourist sites, yet, it fascinated me. I had one of those deja vu moments, though I don't put much stock in these feelings. And, maybe, I’d seen Saint-Medard in pictures in a book or on the web in passing and forgotten about it.

When Suzanne and I stood in front of the church, our bodies began trembling. Frightened, Suzanne turned to me: “What’s happening, Bob?”

“I don’t know and I can’t stop whatever it is!”

“I can’t either! she yelled,” and we both fell on the ground shaking uncontrollably.

Curiously, the fear evaporated and an almost insane happiness shot through our bodies. But, in some sort of trance state that seemed to go on forever, neither of us could talk.

An ambulance screeched in. Medics hauled our bodies into the back of the ambulance and drove us to a hospital. After a few minutes in the ambulance, Suzanne and I began to come out of the trance and the shaking subsided. At the hospital the doctors found nothing wrong with us, a mystery they said, but told us to call a doctor for additional tests if the symptoms returned.

I was glad it was over and would have been content to forget the matter. But, Suzanne, a person who has to know the answers to everything, drives me crazy sometimes, believed our convulsions had some sort of connection to the church and began to research it on the internet. I was just glad we didn’t have some medical condition like epilepsy.

“Bob! Look at this,” she said, showing me a website about a Jansenist priest buried at the church cemetery in 1726. After the priest's death people called Convulsionaries visited his tomb and allegedly fell into trance states with their bodies shaking uncontrollably.

Also a believer in mystical matters, Suzanne constructed all these elaborate theories about us being soul mates and Convulsionaries in past lives which supposedly explained why we experienced the trance states when we stood in front of Saint-Medard.

Though I had the deja vu feeling -- and there's surely a logical, scientific explanation for those feelings -- I’m a down-to-earth guy and not about all that off-the-wall twilight zone stuff. I think it was just something we ate. Not to knock Parisian food. God knows it’s among the world’s best.

Monday, 23 October 2006

Words From A Record-Breaking Flying Fish


I was never content to glide a few feet like my flying fish peers. I had bigger dreams. I wanted to soar in the sky like a sea gull. I wanted to fly through the clouds and breath higher air than the sea-sprayed air barely above the ocean waves.

The farthest a flying fish ever flew was 2,000 feet. Sammy Finshaw established that record in 1964 off the coast of Barbados when he vibrated his tail like a maniac, caught a good wind, spread his fins like a Boeing 747, and broke the former record of 1,500 feet. Unfortunately, a week after his record-breaking flight, a dolphin snagged him for lunch and his illustrious flying career ended in the landing strip of the dolphin’s stomach. Which reminds me, everybody thinks dolphins are so intelligent and so sweet. Not if you’re a flying fish. To us they are freakin’ merciless serial killers that make Hannibal Lechter look like Mary Poppins. And not a day passes when they don’t murder our species in vast numbers. I hate those tooth-beaked twits!

But back to my story. I started training like an Olympian, went on a special ginseng fortified zooplankton diet designed to power me up. I worked out six hours a day and kept making impressive gains. When I began I could only fly a little over 1,000 feet. After a week, I was doing 1,500 and closing in on Sammy’s record. Mind you all the time I’m doing this I’m having to look over my fins at berserker dolphins trying to kill me from all sides. They didn’t care about my records or my goals. To them I was just freakin’ fish food. Goddamn twits!

Despite the constant and annoying dolphin interference, I discovered I had a gift for flying. I’m not talking the gliding that my species does; I’m talking bona fide flying like the Wright Brothers and aviation (What? Because I’m a fish you don’t think I could know about the Wright Brothers and aviation. Duh! Why do you think fish have schools?).

So as I got better and better and learned to flap my fins like wings, I made some serious distance. Three days after I started flapping my fins, I blew away Sammy’s record. I did 4,000 feet, actually double that because I turned around and flew back to where I started.

A month later I flew high as the seagulls and circled a cumulus cloud six times. I even buzzed ships as a joke, but my showboating, so to speak, became my undoing. When the media found out about my aerial acrobatics and eagle-like flights, they flooded the ocean looking for me. Freakin’ paparazzi, worse than the dolphins, stalked my every flight, their flashing cameras almost blinding me, their annoying questions and comments pissing me off. TV news and camera crews from all over the planet jammed their boats all around my haunts. I had hardly any room to breathe let along fly.

After six months of that crap, tired of living in the fish bowl with my every move under scrutiny, and freakin’ paparazzi never given me a moment’s peace, I said screw this and dove deeper into the ocean than the cameras and the paparazzi, or even frog persons, could ever go, and never flew again.

According to flying fish history, before that damn dolphin ended Sammy’s promising aviation career, Sammy said, “Success isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.” He was right.